Our Presiding Heritage

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Bishop Samuel Nathan Hancock, Founder (Tenure 1957-1963) was born November 9, 1883 in Adair County, Kentucky. Married five times, he outlived all but one of his wives; (Bertha Valentine Hancock, mother of his two children; Anna Williams Hancock, Ida Haywood Hancock, Anna Bell Douglas Hancock, and Bertha Jackson Hancock). He received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1914 under the pastorate of Bishop Garfield T. Haywood at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana.  After serving as assistant pastor to Haywood for four years, he moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1921 to pastor Clinton Street Greater Bethlehem Temple Church, declaring “I will do a great thing in Detroit, Michigan.” Under his pastorate, the membership grew to more than 3,000 parishioners. Elevated to the office of bishop by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, he served in that organization until 1957 when he founded the PCAF, serving as presiding bishop until his death on August 18, 1963 at the age of 79. 


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Bishop Willie Lee (Tenure 1963-1964) was born February 16, 1901 in Starkville, Mississippi. Moving to Indianapolis, Indiana at a young age, he was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly under the pastorate of Bishop Garfield T. Haywood. Later, moving to Detroit, Michigan, he became assistant pastor to Bishop Samuel Hancock at Clinton Street Greater Bethlehem Temple, and assisted Hancock in organizing the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith in 1957. He served as assistant presiding bishop, and upon Hancock’s death in 1963, became presiding bishop, of which he resigned after a brief tenure. Bishop Lee was married to Maggie Taylor Lee and they had one son. Returning to Indianapolis in 1954, he accepted the pastorate of Christ Temple where he served until his death on June 19, 1969 at age 68. 


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Bishop Elzie William Young (Tenure 1964-1989) was born October 13, 1913 in Lexington, Kentucky. Receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1932 under the pastorate of Elder H.T. Moore, Young acknowledged his call to the ministry and evangelized all over the country for a number of years before founding Greater Bethlehem Temple Apostolic Church in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. Married to Ruby Edgerson Young for more than 40 years until her passing, their union produced nine children. He later married Dianna Gray Young with whom he had two sons and whom he preceded in death. Noted for a steady, faithful input into God’s work, Bishop Young (who was the only presider to serve a life term in that role),  remained in office as presiding bishop until his death on December 27, 1989 at the age of 76.


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Bishop Dennis Rayford Bell (Tenure 1990-2000) was born July 9, 1923 in LeFlore County, Mississippi. He was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1949 and rose through the ranks as a minister, founding Christ Temple Apostolic Church in Joliet, Illinois, and Midwest Apostolic Bible College (Now Bell Apostolic Bible College) in Chicago. A charter member of the PCAF, he became pastor of Christ Temple Apostolic Church in Chicago in 1958. Bishop Bell earned a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies, a Master’s degree in Theology, and Doctoral degrees in Theology and Philosophy. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Darlene Griffin Bell with whom he had two sons. On  September 29, 2013 at the age of 90, the Lord called Bishop Bell home to glory. His wife Jacqueline Collins Bell survives. 


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Bishop Alfred Singleton (Tenure 2000-2008) was born October 18, 1928 in Montgomery, Alabama. He was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1949 and readily engaged himself in the quest for apostolic knowledge. He is a charter member of the PCAF and served four years as assistant pastor to Bishop Hancock. Later moving to California, he founded several churches there before moving to Lansing, Michigan, in 1972 to pastor The Bread House, Bethlehem Temple Church, and of which he is now pastor emeritus. He is the founder of the S. N. Hancock Educational Institution which houses PCAF history and artifacts. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elizabeth Hawkins-Singleton with whom he had 12 children. On  December 4, 2017 at the age of 89, the Lord called Bishop Singleton home to glory. His wife Antoinette Halton Singleton survives.


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Bishop J.E. Moore (Tenure 2008-2016) was born May 24, 1939, in Galena, Kansas, and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1961. On October 8, 1965, Bishop D. Rayford Bell founded Christ Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith in Joliet, Illinois, and placed Bishop Moore as its pastor. Embarking on a fervent study in his newfound responsibility, Moore has received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees over the years, from several colleges, institutes, and seminaries. He is married to Tecola Williams Moore and they have five children. He continues to serve the organization and remains senior pastor of Christ Temple Church in Joliet. The ministry of Bishop Moore reaches far and beyond, touching the lives of those in his church, community, and around the country.




Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr. (Tenure 2016-present) was born October 31, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan, and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1970 at the age of 11. He is senior pastor of Greater Apostolic Faith Temple in Detroit, Michigan and Mt. Zion Apostolic Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Described as a “prophet-sharing” program, his distinction as one pastor in two locations attests to the call on his life for expansive ministry. Bishop Gates is an outstanding teacher of the Word of God and is a nationally known speaker whose ministry is in constant demand. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and is a former high school English teacher, a position he held for several years before answering God’s call to the pastorate. He is married to Nancy Franklin Gates and they have two sons.